State Trooper Hurt in Weather & Speed Related Accident

January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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January 28, 2013 Updated Jan 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM EDT


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) Sleet and freezing rain made driving conditions very treacherous Monday morning.

In Niagara County, several accidents were reported including one involving a New York State trooper.

Around 8am, Eric Smith of Lewiston lost control of his 2008 Pontiac G6 while driving northbound on the I-190 in Niagara Falls.

Smith's car crossed the center median, became airborne, and crashed into an unmarked State Police Tahoe driving the opposite direction.

The unidentified trooper was taken to Mount St. Mary's Hospital with minor injuries.

Eric Smith was charged with Failure to Keep Right and Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent.

"People drive too fast. In Buffalo weather, conditions change greatly from one area to the other and if you are not paying attention, and you're driving too fast, that can cause problems," said Lt. David Denz of the New York State Police.

Police officials are also reminding the public to slow down and obey the State's 'Move Over Law.'

Last January, the law was amended to include emergency vehicles, highway construction crews, and tow truck operators.

With the recent blast of wintery weather, local tow truck operators say drivers are forgetting to slow down or move to another lane when passing.

"So I have to worry about them sliding into me and sliding into the car that I'm out there with," added Erik Ostertag from Marty's Towing on Grand Island.

Violators of the 'Move Over Law' face a $275 fine, up to 3-points on their license, and a possible jail sentence of 15 days.